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Felix Yz

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“If it wasn’t for the fused-with-Zyx thing, I suppose I would just be normal—whatever that means.”

When Felix Yz was three years old, a hyperintelligent fourth-dimensional being became fused inside him after one of his father’s science experiments went terribly wrong. The creature is friendly, but Felix—now thirteen—won’t be able to grow to adulthood while they’re still melded together. So a risky Procedure is planned to separate them . . . but it may end up killing them both instead.

This book is Felix’s secret blog, a chronicle of the days leading up to the Procedure. Some days it’s business as usual—time with his close-knit family, run-ins with a bully at school, anxiety about his crush. But life becomes more out of the ordinary with the arrival of an Estonian chess Grandmaster, the revelation of family secrets, and a train-hopping journey. When it all might be over in a few days, what matters most?

288 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 30, 2015

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About the author

Lisa Bunker

7 books68 followers
Lisa Bunker has written stories all her life. Before setting up shop as a full-time author she had a 30-year career in non-commercial broadcasting, most recently as Program Director of the community radio station in Portland, Maine. Besides Maine she has made homes in New Mexico, southern California, Seattle, and the Florida panhandle. She now lives in Exeter, New Hampshire with her wife, a child psychologist and author in her own right. Between them they have three grown children. In 2018 Lisa was elected to represent her town in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. When not writing or representing she plays piano, practices yoga, plays chess, and studies languages.

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5 stars
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343 (29%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 244 reviews
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews154k followers
December 9, 2020

Twenty-nine days until ZeroDay. I'm counting down. Twenty-nine days to go.
Thirteen year old Felix Yz has a somewhat...unusual life.
...when I was little there was an accident with a secret machine my dad was working on, and I got fused at the atomic level with a hyperintelligent being from the fourth dimension.
Zyx, the hyperintelligent being, has been Felix's companion for as long as he can remember. But the older he gets, the more problems that arise.
...if we stay fused together for too long it might be bad for me, for both of us.
In twenty-nine days, he will go through the Procedure - the one designed to separate him from Zyx but it is extremely risky.

Felix decides to write a journal-blog-thing along with Zyx to chronicle the (possible) last moments of his life.

There will be laughter, there will be tears but most of all, all Felix wants is more years.

(side note - was the rhyming too much? ehhh, probably. but it's far too much effort to edit it now...ha).

All in all, this was a surprisingly good book.

I loved the way Felix and Zyx played off of each other in the blog - their sibling-esque relationship was sweet and so adorable.

I also loved how inclusive this book was.

It was certainly ticking a lot of boxes - a gender noconforming grandparent, a bi mom, a gay main character and invisible disabilities - but they were smoothly introduced and felt natural in the book.

Felix's disability was tastefully done - I feel like so many books try to make it a BIG THING rather than a real thing. (I was so happy Bunker went with the latter.)

Felix has troubles controlling his body and speech patterns when he's over excited or when Zyx wants to communicate - which appears "weird" or "strange" to his classmates and strangers.

In addition, I really liked the relationship between Felix and Hector. It was cute, awkward and just the right level of middle-grade corniness.
So, Hector.


Gah, OK, fine. Hector is this boy at school...And he's wicked cute and I, you know, kinda like him...
It was so heart-clutchingly cute that I could barely handle it.

The only thing that really threw me from the book was that

Oh. And this is relatively minor, but

Anyway, all in all...this one was good. It was open, endearing and ultimately sweet.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian.
1,115 reviews1,339 followers
November 10, 2017
I'm kind of torn on this one. On the one hand it was delightfully silly and weird (alien fused with a kid, invisible to everyone else) but also heartwarming and heartfelt (beautiful family love and musings on nature of existence). I also loved how many queer and trans characters it included (gay boy, bi mom, gender fluid grandparent)! On the other hand I'm unsure about the messages the end of the book gives: 1) Felix is 'cured' of the alien occupation that also serves as a representation of disability throughout the book and 2) the gender fluid character reveals their assigned sex. I just felt like the end subtly reinforced the ideas that there's something wrong with being disabled and that it's necessary to know the assigned sex of someone non-binary. No on both counts!
Profile Image for Evelina | AvalinahsBooks.
853 reviews443 followers
July 1, 2017
Pop quiz!

You like cute books. You also like diverse books. And you enjoy YA and kids books.

Question: will you like Felix Yz?

(tick tock tick tock…)

Answer: Yes! Most definitely YES!!

This is a very long review. I suggest you read it on my blog, cause Goodreads does not have such formatting capabilities.

Reasons to like Felix Yz?
This is, like, the most diverse book ever. If you thought you read diverse? This is probably more diverse. How?

For starters, Felix is… pretty much disabled (there’s a reason why I say ‘pretty much’). Even though he is not really physically disabled, he gets the brunt from everything disabled people have to suffer from. I especially liked it, because this stands for both the mentally and physically disabled! Cause poor Felix has to deal with both pain, inability to physically do stuff, and have people think he’s stupid because he can’t quite talk properly, when in fact he has a fully functioning mind of any normal teen. Of course, it’s not a typical disability, and I don’t want to spoil, but basically… It represents what disabled kids have to go through very well, I think.

Second, to top all of it off, Felix isn’t just physically different. He also happens to like a boy. It adds to the problems of being accepted as well. And although he feels alright about the fact that he might like boys (or both girls and boys, for that matter – we don’t know), it’s that he’s not sure how the other person will feel about it. I like the way this is handled like any straight-people crush would be handled in a book. We don’t get lectured about it or anything. It’s just treated as normal! Diversity at its best.

Then there’s the third part. I think I found this to be the best part of all, but Felix’s Grandy (grandparent) is… of unknown biological sex. They choose their own sexuality, being male for two days, then female for two more, etc. There are even these special pronouns the writer has come up with, I thought that was lovely. It’s hard for me to sum up why I liked it so much, so if you want a long quote, again, go read this on my blog.

Anyway, can’t only be talking about diversity here, right? The book was enjoyable even aside from that. It was just so warm, cozy, adorable. It focuses a lot on love, family, and the fact that even good families might have problems. Then there are all those adorable word plays! Like all of the names in his family (end in “xyz”) or how his Grandy loves making games out of letters and sounds. It’s so adorable, in a nerdy/geeky way, and just too good to be true.

It might be hard for me to explain to you exactly how this book felt, but I will give you something to compare it with. If you liked these books, you will certainly like Felix Yz:

A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L'Engle Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson A Wind in the Door (Time Quintet, #2) by Madeleine L'Engle

Ultimately, it’s a tale about how one feels when they’re different, and especially – when they’re about to die. It’s about treasuring life, taking responsibility, about loving life. About accepting the hand you’re dealt. And it’s just so touching along the way, you will not want to let it go when you’ve read the very last page. I strongly encourage you to give this book a go. It was great.

I thank Penguin Young Readers Group, Viking Books for Young Readers and Lisa Bunker for giving me an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are entirely my own.

Read Post On My Blog | My Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter
Profile Image for Abby Johnson.
3,373 reviews309 followers
April 9, 2017
So, yeah, this book was bananas. And I was warned about that. But I think I could have gotten on board if I could have figured out where it was going with everything. I guess I never connected with Felix in a way that made me care about his story, possibly because there was a LOT going on that was distracting to the central story. I appreciate the efforts of the author to include a diverse cast of characters, but it all felt like too much going on and I was never able to latch onto a thread that carried me through the whole book.

This is definitely different than any middle grade I've read before. I would try it on kids who liked Jennifer Holm's The Fourteenth Goldfish and R.J. Palacio's Wonder in equal measure.
Profile Image for Kayla.
433 reviews8 followers
January 7, 2017
The writing style is hard to get into at first, but it makes more sense as the story progresses, and I'm sure kids would love the silliness of it. It's essentially the stream of consciousness of a 13-year-old and the alien fused inside him that occasionally takes over his body. It includes LGBT themes as Felix grapples with his attraction to his friend Hector, and understanding Grandy (Felix's gender fluid grandparent) who dresses like a woman three days a week, like a man three days a week, and locks veirself (Grandy's made up pronoun to identify veirself) in veir room one day and meditates naked, not identifying with any one gender.

This novel deals with acceptance, including subjects of race, identity, and disabilities, in a way that is easy to digest yet still conveys the importance of those issues.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
243 reviews
April 22, 2018
This book was soooooo out there - but I really loved it. The sci-fi element (that Felix is fused with an alien/fourth-dimensional being) was kind of hard to wrap my brain around at first - but once I did (and once I suspended my need to have answers for every question) I enjoyed the story SO much. It was based on such a unique, fascinating concept. I loved how so many important issues were touched on (identity, bullying, gender fluidity, LGBTQ+ acceptance, grief/loss, depression, etc.) in such a clever way. There's a lot of allegory and metaphor and strangeness (especially when Zyx speaks...!) but it was all so enjoyable for me. It's not for everyone, I'm sure, but I adored it.
Profile Image for Bogi Takács.
Author 54 books564 followers
December 9, 2018
Enjoyed this (with some qualms); will want to review hopefully soon. One of the very, very few children's books that imo *gets* queer families, both biological and found families. There should be a LOT more discussion about this book. Trans woman author!!! Major press!!! Actually gender diverse middle grade!!!! Science fiction!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, I got a bit carried away. What I'm trying to say here is, this book fills so many gaps, and yet it did not seem to get much push from the kidlit blogosphere. I found out about it from the political news (the author ran for office successfully in the US midterm elections). Even if it's not perfect, it should be discussed a lot, lot, lot more.

A content notice that the story starts with the protagonist being bullied. There is much less of this aspect later on, so I suggest to keep on reading if you can. Though there is a fair amount of discussion of death, because the protagonist is going through something life-threatening (and science-fictional).

Also a qualm:

OK, I should just write a regular blog post, because this is getting long....

Source of the book: Lawrence Public Library
Profile Image for Katherine.
426 reviews
October 1, 2017
For a large part of this book, I struggled with analyzing it instead of relaxing and just enjoying it. And of course, once you're in analyze mode you just keep noticing things. Some of that was the language: anytime a book uses language in a different way than I'm used to, it takes me longer to get into. First, there's the way the writing switches between Felix and Zyx. Despite Zyx's being hyperintelligent and having been merged with Felix since Felix was 3, Zyx does not communicate effectively in the English language, possibly because words are foreign to Zyx. Second, the vo/ven/veir nongendered pronouns got me confused. They're not bad pronouns, but first they were introduced for Grandy, Felix's genderfluid grandparent. But then they were also used for Zyx, who's from a dimension where gender is not a thing. So there were multiple parts where I automatically though vo/ven/veir was for Grandy when it was for Zyx, and then I had to go back and reread. Eventually I adjusted and it was fine.
Next, the science fiction: Zyx is a 4-dimensional being who got stuck in a 3-dimensional boy. You're not necessarily supposed to be able to wrap your head around this, but the science of it/way it worked in practice/etc. did not quite make enough sense to be believable, even in the context of soft science fiction.
The last thing I couldn't wrap my head around was Grandy's particular version of genderfluidity. Grandy is Vera Sun - Tues, and Vern Thurs - Sat. On Wed., vo is neither, wears no clothes, and stays in veir room all day and (supposedly) meditates. I'm not sure I'm sufficiently well-versed in genderfluidity to judge, but... is it ever that tidy? So cleanly and regularly divided? Or more of an "it varies?" Of excess analysis, I probably had the easiest time letting go of this one due to my lack of actual knowledge, but after this I'll be googling up on it.
The good stuff:
Eventually, I did get caught up in the story. It's interesting! I definitely appreciate a story that I feel like I've never read before. Felix is a likeable, sympathetic character, and I really felt for him. Most of the characters are diverse, some (such as Felix) in multiple ways. Some reviewers have felt there's an excess of diversity and issues going on, but yes, people's lives can be like that. Not many, but almost definitely a higher percentage than there are books reflecting. And perhaps what this book was best at was family dynamics. The relationships between the family members all feel spot-on.
Best for people who like odd, light-yet-serious stories and are capable of not over-analyzing.
Profile Image for mg.
686 reviews
September 11, 2017
2.5 stars

If this weren't a middle grade book, I'd suggest doing a drinking game with all the LGBTQIA characters the authors managed to squeeze in...
Profile Image for Amanda Schreiber.
91 reviews40 followers
January 18, 2018
I listen to the audiobook of this title as it was on my public library’s 2018 Mock Newbery list. On one hand, I loved Felix’s voice & the countdown to “zero day” really added to the tension and complexity of the story. I also loved the banter between Felix & his fused alien. I can see the concept pulling in many readers.

However, on the other hand, I felt like there was too much going on. Gender-fluid grandparent, bisexual Mom, dead dad, prodigy sister, a hidden family secret & first crush on a boy. I liked (to a point) the boundaries this text is breaking in middle grade fiction, yet I’m not sure it enhances the story but instead has it losing some of its luster. Why? Felix must explain the special pronouns for Grandy & give back story to so many characters, it almost bogs down some of the great relationships among the characters. I wish we got to know one or two special characters instead of running the gamut of gender identity.
Profile Image for C.J. Milbrandt.
Author 20 books160 followers
May 24, 2018
Felix has spent most of his life fused to another entity. Getting unstuck means undergoing a risky surgery, so Felix begins a journal (with the help of Zyx) to document the final days leading up to the Procedure. Lab accidents and loss. The Pose and planes of existence. School bullies and first loves. Comics and fandoms. Harmony Street and pronouns that start with "v."

A little erratic, since Felix's journal entries tend to jump around, but whenever we were given a scene, I was pulled right in. Bunker's perspectives are certainly unique, but she delivers the feels. Feels with wheels.
Profile Image for Quirks.
1,128 reviews84 followers
September 24, 2018
This book has one of the coolest plots. Felix Yz is a thirteen-year-old boy. A decade ago, during an experiment his father was conducting, Felix was at the wrong place at the wrong time when it went kaboom. The explosion, though not huge, killed his father and left Felix merged with a fourth dimensional being. Felix and his family call the fourth dimensional being Zyx. And as nice as Zyx is, vo and Felix need to be separated or they'll both die. Though the separating procedure could kill them too.

And if that's not the most intriguing plot, I don't know what is. We have Felix, a kid trying to be strong in the face of death, his mom and his older sister. There's also a grandparent. Vo (this is a gender neutral pronoun the Yz family has come up with) is gender-fluid.

And, of course, Zyx. Zyx can't really communicate, not by speaking. But vo can use actions. Zyx communicates using a keyboard, typing what vo wants to say. We get to hear from ven quite often actually because the book is in the form of diary entries leading up to the day of the procedure. Felix writes down what's going on with him and what he's feeling and Zyx pipes up whenever vo wants to.

Still, Zyx doesn't have the best grasp of language, despite being a hyper-intelligent fourth dimensional being, so vo mostly types few words at a time. Adorable little things like "zyx love felix" or "chess pretty". No punctuation.

You wouldn't think that one would be able to fall in love with a character in just a few short interactions but I loved Zyx. And Felix. My heart went out to them both for what they were going through. This book is fast paced, but takes the time to let you care about the characters and like them. We get to see the last few days of Felix+Zyz and experience the bond they have. Plus, it's an interesting read with some unexpected turns and great side-characters.

The only complaint I have is regarding the ending. It felt rushed and was anticlimactic. I wanted something with more gravity after all the build-up we got. Still, I liked the book. I flew through it and I would definitely like to check out whatever the author writes next (I think she has a book coming out in 2019). You should give this one a shot.
Profile Image for Missy.
315 reviews7 followers
December 11, 2017
Here's yet another review of a science fiction book that I really liked in which I start with the explanation that I don't usually read science fiction, but this book is an exception. I think I need to give up the idea that I don't read science fiction. I do. But just as I don't read mysteries for the murders, I don't read science fiction for the science. I read for characters and connections. And Felix Yz is all about connections and disconnections. The central connection and disconnection is between Felix and Zyx, "a hyperintelligent fourth-dimensional being that became fused with him after one of his father's science experiments went terribly wrong." (That's really the extent of the science, by the way.) The driving element of Felix Yz is the physical disconnection between Zyx and Felix. On the way to this potentially fatal procedure, Felix connects with a number of people in ways that are sometimes beautiful, other times painful, and occasionally both. I loved Felix/Zyx, who were a combination of innocent and deeply philosophical. Just as the universe is multidimensional, so are the characters in Felix Yz and the story itself.
Profile Image for Elaine Fultz, Teacher Librarian, MLS.
1,553 reviews16 followers
December 4, 2017
Alien infested gay teen, dead scientist dad, bisexual mom, obnoxious mom's boyfriend, genderfluid grandparent, piano prodigy sister, and biracial love interest. ALL of these people are great and I'm glad I met them, but it's an overwhelming experience to go through considering the whole book is a countdown to the day of The Procedure which may separate Felix and his tender and poetic inner alien OR may kill him.
Profile Image for Jae.
435 reviews11 followers
July 2, 2018
This book didn't do the best job of holding my attention, but there were several moments of audible reaction from me throughout (always a sign of good writing). What this book did very well was casual diversity. How refreshing to be in a world where most people are queer, being queer isn't anyone's defining trait, and the fact of their queerness just comes up naturally in the course of narration or conversation. That makes this a book I've been waiting for for a very long time.
Profile Image for Amy.
116 reviews9 followers
June 28, 2018
3.5/5 stars

This was an enjoyable book and a quick read -- I was able to finish the audiobook within one work day. While the main premise of the book -- a 13 year old boy who's body is fused with an alien being's conscious - is science-fiction, the overall story is much more contemporary.

13 year-old Felix has been connected to alien being Zyx, since he was 3 years old - the result of a science experiment gone wrong, that also killed Felix's father. Ten years later, it has been determined that if the two aren't separated, Felix will not have long to live, so a procedure is planned to hopefully separate boy and alien. The procedure is not without it's own risks, and with one month to go until "zero day" Felix begins in online blog in which he shares his anxiety about the upcoming procedure, his struggles fitting in at school, his crush on a cute boy, and how his connection with Zyx affects his everyday life, and how others treat him. Added in throughout the blog are comments from Zyx -- who communicates through Felix's hands on the keyboard.

In addition to the overall story, there are multiple side plots. Some of these I enjoyed, but others felt unnecessary and distracting from the overall story (the family secret side story in particular). I also felt that some of these stories weren't quite resolved when the book wrapped.

I'm rounding my 3.5 stars up to 4 due to the outstanding performance on the audiobook. Reader Michael Crouch does an excellent job conveying Felix's emotions, and Zyx's robotic like interruptions are delightful.
Profile Image for Rachel.
293 reviews22 followers
November 3, 2018
This book was good for many reasons. As weird as the concept is, a boy fused with an alien from a 4th dimension, the book also conveys a message of acceptance in a very human way. I love the inclusion of characters who don’t fit neatly into societal norms, like Grandy, who is sometimes Vera and sometimes Verne, and yet, even though there is ample exploration of the issues of gender and sexual preference, that is not the focus of this novel. Written in diary format, Felix’s story and struggle, as odd as it may seem, is really relatable. He’s just trying to find balance and peace amid the turmoil of teenage crushes and bullies, complicated family life, and scary health problems. I found myself really loving Zyx’s contributions to the narrative, because the message from this other-worldly being was to focus on moments of joy and bliss and to remember that we are all interconnected as one, not separate beings. Isn’t that the lesson we all need to learn and remember in order to live happier lives?
Profile Image for Alicia.
5,732 reviews108 followers
July 14, 2018
I don't really know what I just read. It's seemed quirky and silly with an underlying message. The voice shown through plenty enough but I just couldn't really suspend any disbelief or truly get into the "science fiction" element that Felix would be fused to an alien and the countdown to the surgery to remove them from each other. Then to add to that-- there are GLBTQ characters including Felix himself being interested in Hector as he's writing the journals awaiting the surgery day-- then they become comic-drawing friends? What? I'm not discounting the inclusion of GLBTQ characters in science fiction at all, but the about-face without much emotion to it? It felt shallow.

But odd in general. I don't know what to think about it.
1 review
September 2, 2020
Felix Yz is an amazing book. It starts out with a experiment that goes wild when Felix was three years old. He was standing too close to it, and the next thing he knew was there was a fourth-dimension alien in his brain. He has to live life with Zyx using Felix's own hands and his own body to communicate. The authors choice of journal format was pure genius. That was one of my favorite parts. It is incredibly well written and this way Zyx has a voice. Its amazing how the author opens a whole new world to you, of living with a fourth dimension humanoid and just trying to be normal, whatever that is. It is one of my top recommendations.
Shelved as 'pit-of-despair'
December 20, 2021
DNF at 38%. I like the premise. I like the normalization of queerness and neopronouns. I like the way the audiobook is performed. The story just couldn't keep my attention and I had a tough time getting invested. Gonna have to put this one in the "not my cup of tea" category.
Profile Image for Lori.
161 reviews
July 6, 2018
Definitely a YA sci-fi title, Felix is dealing with so many physical and emotional struggles as he counts down to his procedure: to separate him from the alien within. I enjoyed the dual voices, that of Felix and Zyx (his alien). It is a coming of age story with a multitude of connections to teens who many also struggle as they figure things out: art, life, family, friendship, sexuality.
Profile Image for Brooke Nadzam.
725 reviews5 followers
November 9, 2018
I liked Felix Yz.

This is the story of a boy whose father was a scientist who studied the fourth dimension. During one of his experiments, things go wrong. Felix's father dies, and Felix is fused with an alien from that fourth dimension.

And now, 10 years later, the scientists want to un-fuse the two. Because if they don't, Felix will die. But, it's a risky procedure, and if they do un-fuse them, Felix might die.
Profile Image for Alex Myers.
Author 7 books112 followers
June 12, 2017
Prepare to enter a world that is delightfully both realistic and bizarre. Bizarre because Felix is fused with an alien from the Fourth Dimension. Realistic because Felix is, after all, still just a eighth grade kid trying to figure out who he is, where he belongs, and what to do with himself. And delightful... well... for so many reasons! First, there's the explorations of infinity (fourth dimensionality/threeness). Second, there's the wonderful wordplay (I loved the pronouns the author invented). Third, there's the trueness of the voice - the way in which this boy seems just like a boy (even as he has experiences that are totally unreal). What I wanted more of: More alien! Zyx (the alien who is fused with Felix) gets some lines, but I wanted more on the depth of their relationship.

A great read!
Profile Image for Sasha.
864 reviews32 followers
May 8, 2017
.....this book is strange.

But good? Kind of.

But it's weird.

So this boy, Felix, is fused with a fourth-dimensional alien being. He has a crush on his classmate, Hector, but he thinks he doesn't have a chance because he is bullied all the time. His sister is a piano genius. His father is dead as a result of a lab accident that caused the alien fusion. His mother is dating a guy named Rick, who likes chess a lot. And finally, he lives with Grandy: his grandparent who is Vera for three days a week, Vern for another three, and a sequestered being on Wednesdays. Felix has a month until the Procedure, which will attempt to separate him from the alien. The alien, Zyx, isn't so bad. Yes, sometimes vo (gender-neutral pronoun made up by Grandy) takes over Felix's typing hands to express veir ideas. Sometimes vo gets really excited about jazz. And other times vo takes Felix on trans-dimensional field trips. Felix has gotten used to vem, but he has a month to come to terms with the separation. If it doesn't succeed, there will be no more Felix.

The good stuff:
- An easing into the idea of non-binary gender and sexuality: AWESOME
- Transgender author
- Easy to read, kinda fun sometimes
- Cool ideas

The not so good stuff:
- It's just weird, ok? I think there was way too much going on and not enough space to explore it all. I guess the author poured everything she had into this one work. It would have been better to pace it across different stories.
- Felix runs away at some point and I feel like the lesson learned is a bit of a dangerous one.
- Because there's so much going on, not enough ideas and characters had a chance to be developed.

I admire the work and would absolutely read more. But this one broke my brain a bit.
Profile Image for Reviews May Vary.
1,181 reviews95 followers
July 18, 2018
Recommended to me by my Youth Librarian. It's about a young boy who's mind has been fused with that of an alien. He has suffered loss, body deformity and bullying at school. But he's a sweetie. The book is a count down to the possibly life- ending activity of separating him from the thing in his head. Definitely worth the read.
Profile Image for Jaq.
1,817 reviews2 followers
June 25, 2020
Glorious and intriguing. sheer delight.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
2,331 reviews27 followers
December 21, 2017
Felix is not your average kid, having been inadvertently merged with a hyper-intelligent being from the 4th dimension when he was three. Although Zyx (as they call it) is benevolent, their fusion physically cramps both their styles, and now the powers that be--who don't allow Felix and his family to tell anyone the truth--have determined that Felix and Zyx must be separated or they will both die. Of course, the "procedure" to separate them might also kill Felix. As the few weeks spiral down to the zero date, Felix records his days with some input from Zyx, who can only communicate by taking control of Felix's hands to type (or by making Felix flail around, which has done wonders for his reputation at school--most everyone thinks he's simple-minded and he gets relentlessly bullied). We meet Felix's family--his stoic mother, musical sister, gender-fluid grandparent--and the boy who stirs Felix's heart, Hector. Also Felix's mother's boyfriend Rick, who explains chess to Felix and Zyx goes wild with the beauty of chess and proves more than a master for any game--though Rick thinks it's Felix playing and can only think of the money they can make from his skill. Felix just wants to not die, and his depression grows with every day closer to the time. He's also being driven crazy by Zyx, who is never in a bad mood and doesn't understand sarcasm or why Felix doesn't just tell Hector how he feels. When things get really bad, Felix decides he has to be the one to take action.

I thought this was great, but probably doomed by the terrible cover. Seriously, what kid would pick this book up with that cover? No one, unless they mistook it for a book about DNA and they were doing a report. But the book deserves a wider audience, and is actually quite a gentle, angsty look at adolescence with some bonus SF added in and lots of LGBTQ diversity. Felix is completely believable, and not always likeable--he is often not kind to Zyx, who is much more limited than Felix, who can still interact with his world, and doesn't let Zyx express itself much. I did find that disturbing, though I can see how Felix would be irritated. I also thought the fake curse words/phrases were silly, and I can't see any kid using them. But overall, this is an original plot with characters you'll care about.
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